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tv   Early Start With John Berman and Christine Romans  CNN  April 15, 2014 1:00am-2:01am PDT

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breaking news this morning. the underwater search for missing malaysia airlines flight 370 intensifies. just over an hour ago, investigators reveal what the bluefin submarine saw its first day combing the bottom of the ocean, this as we learn the details about what was happening in that plane's cockpit just before it disappeared. was the co-pilot trying to send someone a warning? we're live with the very latest this morning. also, a tense standoff in ukraine. pro-russian protesters refuse to disarm, refuse to step aside. they're ignoring ukraine's threat to send in troops, as the
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u.s. and russia blame each other for the intensifying crisis. is war imminent? we're live with what's happening right now. good morning. welcome to "early start." i'm victor blackwell. >> i'm christine romans. nice to see you again today, victor. >> good to be here. >> it's tuesday, april 15th, 4:00 a.m. in the east. we begin with the latest in the search for malaysia airlines flight 370 and the news breaking overnight that an unmanned underwater vehicle, this bluefin-21, found nothing of interest during its first search of the floor of the indian ocean. that journey ended abruptly after just six hours, when the unmanned sub had to surface after going too deep. this morning, crews preparing again to put the vehicle back in the water for another 16-hour trip, they hope, scanning for wreckage from that jet, missing now 39 days. erin mclaughlin is live in perth with the latest on the search. erin, they reached the maximum depth this submersible could go. >> reporter: that's right, christine. it's also important to note that it had only been searching the
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ocean floor for about two hours in total. it takes it about two hours to get down and then two hours to get back up, so, two hours in total. it's supposed to search for some 14 more. perhaps not surprising that it didn't find anything. now, it has been some 17 hours since it resurfaced, and they still have yet to put it back into the water due to poor weather conditions. now, officials here in australia have long said that this is going to be most likely a slow and painstaking process. day one of this phase of the operation, that certainly seems to be the case. now, in terms of what happened when the bluefin-21 was down there, it was on the utter edges of the search field when it encountered very deep waters, deeper than the 2.8 miles or so that is at its capacity, so it re-emerged on to the surface to be reprogrammed. we understand that officials are currently adjusting the search area to account for those deep waters so that it doesn't go over its capacity. christine? >> erin mclaughlin for us in
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perth, australia. thank you, erin. >> meanwhile, we're learning new details about what was going on inside the cockpit of that 777. a u.s. official tells cnn the co-pilot's cell phone was turned on during the flight and tried to make contact with the cell phone tower over penang. well, that attempt was roughly 30 minutes after the plane made that aggressive left turn off course. senior international correspondent nic robertson is live in kuala lumpur with the latest on the investigation. so, nic, we've got this new information. what's the significance? >> reporter: well, the significance shows that the plane appears to have been at a relatively low altitude as it passed across the coastline from the malaysian peninsula out into the sea. we're told that once it got about 18 miles out into the sea, it actually got to around about 4,000 to 5,000 feet above sea level, dipped quite low before it reappeared again on the radar. so, this does indicate that the aircraft, as it came over the malaysian peninsula, was not, or possibly not at cruising
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altitude for this connection to be made between a cell phone and a cell tower, not a full conversation itself, not a call made, but just a data connection, a handshake with the cell tower. we've also heard from the acting transport minister today, talk being what will happen when that black box is discovered and potentially recovered from flight 370. he said that part of it, part of the decision about its future will be done in consultation with the international civil aviation organization, but a lot to be discussed about it. this is what he said. >> whether it is an icao practice, whether it is a challenge which involves diplomacy, because you must understand that it involves 14 nations. and when it comes to the search and rescue, at the beginning, it involves 26 nations. so, we have diplomatic challenges, we've got legal challenges, we've got next of kin, and that is why we have established these committees.
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>> reporter: and that's what they're working through right now, but he did go on to say that all the data from the black box, if and when it would be recovered, he said there will be full truth from this and a full accounting of it. victor? >> all right, nic robertson for us in kuala lumpur. nic, thank you. and now to ukraine, a country on the brink of civil war. pro-russian militants this morning continue to hold government buildings in the eastern part of ukraine, despite calls for them to give up their arms and leave. they are not budging. at least they don't appear to be budging. president obama and vladimir putin spoke last night, trading barbs over who is behind the escalating violence, as ukraine's acting president is asking the u.n. to send in peacekeepers. phil black live for us in kharkiv, ukraine, with the very latest. fill us in here. i mean, every day it seems like a slight escalation in these tensions. >> reporter: that's right, christine, and what it means, what the trend is, is that the authority of the central government in kiev is slipping
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away, and that ukrainian government so far has appeared to be powerless to reverse that trend. in nine separate towns and cities across the east here, pro-russian protesters and militants have stormed key government buildings. they now occupy those and key pieces of infrastructure, and the government in kiev has not been able to do or say anything that seems capable of slodging them from those locations. it has tried talk of threats, force, ultimatums, deadlines, the ongoing talk of a large-scale anti-terror operation, but we've seen no sign of it. they've also tried to be more consol entry, talk of amnesties and political conclusiveness in determining the future political structure of this country, but again, no empact. now there is this suggestion from the ukrainian government for an international peacekeeping force here operating under a united nations mandate. that was the suggestion made by the acting ukrainian president to the u.n. secretary-general, ban ki-moon, and it is, perhaps,
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a sign of just how desperate the ukrainian government is. we can only guess the appetite that exists in western governments to see their soldiers here on the ground staring down against russian forces across the border. but the other key point is that a force like this would almost certainly need at approval of the united nations security council, and russia has, as a permanent member, a veto on the security council. it is very difficult to imagine a scenario where russia would allow western soldiers to be here in eastern ukraine, so close to its border. so, at the outset, that idea also appears to be a nonstarter, christine. >> meantime, the tensions just keep moving higher and higher. all right, phil black. thank you so much, phil. happening right now, an olympic hero returns to the witness stand after breaking down in front of a packed courtroom while he was trying to explain why he shot and killed his model girlfriend. we are live westbound what oscar pistorius is saying this morning. and boston strong one year later. marking the first anniversary of the marathon bombings. what the city is planning today.
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that's next. imagine if everything you learned led to the one job you always wanted. at university of phoenix, we believe every education- not just ours- should be built around the career that you want. imagine that.
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ten minutes after the hour now. oscar pistorius is back on the witness stand again this morning at his murder trial, and seemingly, he's holding his own against this intense cross examination. the prosecutor is trying to catch pistorius in lies over what happened the night he shot and killed his girlfriend, reeva steenkamp. testimony just resumed a few moments ago. cnn legal analyst kelly phelps
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is at the courthouse in pretoria. kelly, pistorius has spent more time on the stand than any other witness in this trial. this, though, is going to wrap up pretty soon, right? >> reporter: yes. we expect -- we heard this morning, mr. nel asked for a postponement, essentially, after pistorius has concluded his testimony, and he indicated that he should be finished with cross examination today. and then all that's left after that with regards to mr. pistorius's testimony is the opportunity for his legal counsel to re-examine him, which should be significantly shorter than cross examination. >> the prosecutor also asked for a two-week postponement, a two-week recess, i guess. tell us about that. >> reporter: well, really, it appears to be more practical and personal reasons. in south africa, we have a speight of public holidays
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coming up, so over that two-week period, there would really only be a few active court days. and nel, with the agreement of barry roux, has requested that the trial should be put on hold over those two weeks so that they can, first of all, deal with other matters, other cases that they're working on, and also, essentially, take some personal time off. >> kelly, there is a point at which the prosecutor made a statement and then pistorius corrected him. the prosecutor used that opportunity to say that pistorius is a stickler for detail. was that seen as maybe a snipe, showing some personal animosity, or is that something we should expect in this type of cross examination? >> reporter: well, i think it's a classic characteristic of nel's cross examining style. he is known to be quite aservic and cutting and sarcastic, and it is part of, in a sense, the mental game that he plays with the person that he's cross examining, to try and get under their skin, catch them off
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guard, with the hopes of essentially catching the person out in telling an inconsistency or a mistruth along the way. so, it's quite classic in terms of mr. nel's style in the courtroom. >> does this length of the cross examination going now into week two, although expected to wrap up at the end of the day, according to the prosecutor, does is it seen as belaboring the point, or is nel poking significant holes into pistorius's story? >> reporter: it's certainly not seen as belaboring the point, and we know that from the judge's own participation in the trial yesterday. so, mr. roux actually asked if mr. nel could be asked to move on from the subject matter he was questioning around, and the judge herself said, no, i do not believe he is covering same ground over and over
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ingenuously, but that he is still trying to get to the bottom of the story and inconsistencies, and it therefore plays a very valid role in the court's truth-finding process. however, should he get to the point where the judge finds he is gratuitously retreading ground simply to wear pistorius down, she would have absolutely no hesitation to intervene at that stage. but right now, he's tread that line very closely, but he has stayed on the right side of it. >> and could possibly, as you had indicated, wrap up today. kelly phelps in pretoria for us. kelly, thank you. a solemn anniversary today in boston. one year. one year since a bombing destroyed the calm of the boston marathon, shattering hundreds of lives, leaving 3 dead and more than 260 injured. today that city focused on remembering the fallen and also looking forward to a memorial ceremony this afternoon that's going to pay tribute, and there will be a moment of silence to mark the time the first bomb went off. but boston strong banners hang
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everywhere, and the marathon will go on as scheduled next week. many of those running say they're doing it in honor of those who now can't run the course themselves, and they want the world to know that city cannot be knocked down. we could find out today if a man police say shot and killed three people at a jewish center and retirement community near kansas city will face state and federal hate crime charges. frazier glenn cross, also known as frazier glenn miller, is in jail, and federal prosecutors say they have enough evidence to bring hate crime charges in federal court, and that means he could face the death penalty. cross is a former grand dragon of the ku klux klan and had a history of racist and anti-semitic rhetoric. the three people he's accused of killing are christians. dr. william corporon and his grandson, reat underwood, were at the center for a singing competition. another woman was killed outside of a retirement community where she was visiting her mother. and today would have been her 25th wedding anniversary. california police say a pair
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of sex offenders charged with raping and killing four women were wearing court-ordered gps devices during those crimes. the two are suspected of a string of attacks beginning last fall, and police say they are confident there's a fifth victim. both men had been ordered to wear the devices after serving prison terms for sexually assaulting a child under the age of 14. a second mental health evaluation will move ahead in the colorado movie theater shooting case. a judge is turning aside attempts by defense lawyers for james holmes to block the examination. the judge threw out an earlier exam, saying it was inadequate. holmes has entered an insanity plea for the july 2012 shooting. 12 people were killed. 70 others were injured. police this morning say a utah mom suspected of killing six of her newborn babies has admitted to the killings. 39-year-old megan huntsman reportedly told police she strangled or smothered the infants immediately after they were born. seven tiny corpses were found saturday in a garage at huntsman's former home, one thought to be stillborn.
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she's being held on six counts of murder. no word yet on her motive. happening today near pittsburgh, students are being allowed to visit franklin regional high school, the site of a stabbing and slashing attack that left nearly two dozen people hurt, some critically. counselors and a few therapy dogs will be at the school just one day before classes officially resume. the suspect in the attack, alex hribal, is being held without bail. he faced attempted murder and assault charges. new details this morning about the bus crash on a northern california interstate that left ten people dead, many of them high school students. officials say the driver of the bus and the fedex truck that crashed into it both had clean driving records. this morning, one of the students on board is being called a hero. officials at his high school say ismail died trying to help others escape the bus. the students on board were from southern california, heading north for a college tour. the woman caught on camera throwing a shoe at hillary clinton during a speech in las vegas -- you've seen this video -- well, the woman is now in federal -- she's facing federal charges, rather.
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police have identified the woman as alison michelle ernst from phoenix, but authorities are not saying why she potentially threw the shoe at the former secretary of state. new charges include trespassing and violence against a person in a restricted building, on top of misdemeanor disorderly conduct charges from las vegas police. all right, obamacare may not drive up health care costs as much as previously thought. new estimates from the congressional budget office and the joint committee on taxation. these new estimates show premiums are only likely to rise about 3% in 2015, far less than many had been predicting, and the overall cost for implementing the law expected to run about $5 billion less than expected, but less money in penalties will be collected because the administration decided to delay the employer coverage mandate. extreme weather ripping through the south overnight. look at this. this is from mississippi. >> oh, my! >> not far from biloxi. officials say that heavy winds damaged dozens of trailers here at this rv park, some of them,
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as you see here, flipped over. unfortunately, at least two people have been hurt. >> that storm system is now moving east. indra petersons's tracking all this weather for us. hey, indra. >> good morning. what an unbelievable morning. talking warm conditions and some rain on the east coast, but right behind it, right in cincinnati, we are talking about snow. look at this! you're talking about temperatures ahead of the cold front into the 60s. right behind it, we're talking about the snow, 30s and even 20s. so yes, the cold air is expected to make its way in, and eventually, that rain will turn to snow. just a couple of flurries into the overnight hours into the northeast. look at the explosive nature, though. so, down into the southeast, you can almost see these storms blowing up, thanks to the instability out there. we've had, of course, some of the convective weather, so yes, still a slight risk today. it has shifted farther to the east, though, so from norfolk, down through florida, even places like jacksonville, still talking about the threat for severe thunderstorms and strong straight-line winds. that's really been the story here. notice, still talking about the winds ahead of the cold front, bringing in the warm air, but behind it, it will shift.
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the cold air making its way into canada will transition the rain back over to snow. you can actually see the line of storms today progressing, moving the rain into the northeast, right around commute time, lasting throughout the day, into the overnight hours. and on the back side of it, we're actually going to be talking about flurries. let's talk about what we're expecting. heavy rain, even about 2 inches up towards new york city, then some snow. just, again, a little bit in the overnight hours. hard to believe, but the temperature drop will be even the most painful thing because it's been so nice. now i feel like we're already used to it, but no, long gone. >> let's talk about the moon instead. please! >> yes, can we talk about that? >> please, no snow flurries. >> it was gorgeous. did you have a chance to see it? >> it was too foggy. >> i walked out and just saw more buildings. >> i was going to say. >> these are stunning pictures to show you now of the spectacular sight in the skies. just happened less than an hour ago, a lunar eclipse turning the moon blood red, something sign te tests say is rare. the light was bent in the earth's atmosphere and reflected back, and that's the result.
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this is the first of four lunar eclipses expected in the next two years, this series of lunar eclipses. i know some people who are trying to get their kids to see all of them, right? >> yes. >> this is the first one. they've knocked this off the list. i couldn't see it. too foggy, too much cloud cover. >> live picture here, and it's beautiful with that purpose hue on one edge there. it's beautiful. wish i could have seen it, but this is good, too. >> all the folks stayed up in l.a. on the west coast to see it, and lots of discussion on social media about how beautiful it was. all right, happening now, searching the sea bed for missing malaysia airlines flight 370. a submarine set to deploy again miles below the surface. what do we really know about the deepest depths of this ocean? we've got an expert to explain just how uncharted this terrain is. ñ
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we're following the latest breaking news this morning in the search for flight 370, now missing for 39 days. authorities say an unmanned
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underwater vehicle turned up nothing of interest during its first day scanning the ocean floor. the bluefin-21 is set to return to the water this morning for a 16-hour mission, just a day after its first mission had to be cut short because it descended too deep. >> what makes the search even more difficult is the fact this part of the ocean has barely seen human eyes, been seen by human eyes. and oceanographers say they have no idea what it really looks like so far below the water's surface. >> only about 5% of the ocean has been mapped with the same degree of accuracy that we have for the moon or mars or even jupiter. and the southern indian ocean is -- it's one of the least explored, least known parts of the planet. some people think that earth is well explored. actually, the greatest era of exploration is just beginning, because we're just beginning to have the right equipment to be able to explore the deep part of
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the ocean, and most of the ocean, as they say, it is the average depth 2 1/2 miles, and this aircraft is thought to be in water a bit deeper than that. and just imagine being in an airplane 2 1/2 or 3 miles up in the sky and then trying to operate at a point on the land below. this is what these ships basically are challenged with, trying to imagine what is 3 miles below when you can't see what is there. so, this is very exciting, tricky, challenging business. we have technology that can take us to the moon, but we still have trouble getting to the deep sea. >> and they'll be learning so much about that ocean floor in the indian ocean there in the process of trying to find that jetliner. a lot happening this morning in the search for the vanished jet. as we learn new details about what's happening in the plane's cockpit before it disappeared.
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you don't want to miss that. live, team coverage after the break. nnouncer ] this is the cat that drank the milk... [ meows ] ...and let in the dog that woke the man who drove to the control room [ woman ] driverless mode engaged. find parking space. [ woman ] parking space found. [ male announcer ] ...that secured the data that directed the turbines that powered the farm that made the milk that went to the store that reminded the man to buy the milk that was poured by the girl who loved the cat. [ meows ] the internet of everything is changing everything. cisco. tomorrow starts here. the internet of everything is changing everything. he thought it was the endn for his dof the conversation.d... she didn't tell him that her college expenses were going up. or that she maxed out her card during spring break. when the satellite provider checked his credit, he found out his daughter didn't pay her bills. but he's not worried. now he checks his credit report and score at experian.com, allowing him to keep track of his credit and take a break of his own. experian. live credit confident.
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breaking news this morning. a sea bed search for missing malaysia airlines flight 370. the bluefin submarine is returning to the ocean floor for a second day after it hit a huge hurdle. just hours ago, investigators revealed what it saw on its first day near the ocean floor. and this morning there are new questions about what was happening in the cockpit moments before the plane vanished. we're covering all the angles, live. pro-russian protests spreading this morning in ukraine, defying the country's demand they disarm. the standoff escalates. will civil war break out and will russia officially get involved? we are live. welcome back to "early start." i'm christine romans. >> i'm victor blackwell. bottom of the hour now. good to be with you. >> nice to see you. >> good to be with you this morning. we're getting to the breaking news first this morning in the search for flight 370. the navy has just revealed that an underwater search vehicle, the bluefin-21, saw nothing of interest in its first trip scanning the ocean floor, a trip cut short because the unmanned
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sub had descended too far below the ocean surface. now, the bluefin-21 is called the best hope yet for finding wreckage from the jet, and this morning, search crews are preparing to lower it again into the indian ocean to look once more for the plane's missing for now 39 days. erin mclaughlin is live in perth with the latest on the search. erin, up to this point, there had been this thought that the bluefin was going to save this mission, it was going to save this long search for 370. and on day one, no answers. >> reporter: victor, i think the important thing to remember here is that nothing quickly happens when we're dealing with these kinds of ocean depths. the bluefin was down there for only about two hours, when you consider that it takes about two hours for it to descend to the ocean floor and then another two hours to get back up. and so, really, the fact that they hadn't found anything in this particular mission, given that it covered only a fraction
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of some 15 square miles that it was supposed to cover today is not particularly all that surprising. now, we understand that it has not been yet put back into the water due to bad weather, but as soon as the weather clears, they will put it back into the water. authorities here have said all along that this was going to be a very slow and painstaking process. the first day of this mission is anything to go by, that certainly seems to be the case. now, in terms of what happened or what went wrong on this particular mission, we understand that the bluefin-21 was down on the surface when it came across waters deeper than the 2.8 miles that really are at the brink of its capabilities. and so, in response to that, it resurfaced. the technicians aboard the "ocean shield" are currently reprogramming it before sending it back down. but really, officials who, technicians who understand this kind of technology saying that given the depths we're dealing
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with here, this kind of thing is not that uncommon, victor. >> and also, the black boxes that they're searching for could be under those feet of silt. so, patience is certainly something people will have to have as they continue to search. erin mclaughlin in perth. thank you. this morning there are also new developments in the investigation into why flight 370 turned off course. a u.s. official tells cnn a cell phone tower in penang, malaysia, tried to make contact with the co-pilot's cell phone some 30 minutes after the jet made its left turn and headed back over the malaysian peninsula. now, the phone was apparently turned on at that time. let's go to kuala lumpur senior international correspondent nic robertson there this morning. he's been covering this investigation. nic, walk me through what this means and what authorities believe was going on at the time of this contact with the cell phone tower. this is not a live phone conversation, it's a cell tower and the phone making contact. what does that mean? >> reporter: sure. so, let's look at the location
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here. penang is on the west coast of malaysia, the malaysian peninsula. so, the aircraft we know makes that sharp left turn, comes back across the malaysian peninsula. penang is right on the coast there. so, what we're being told is that the cell phone, the co-pilot's cell phone reached out to the cell tower to try and make a connection. cell phones will try to, when they are on, try to connect to the nearest available cell tower. so, that's what appears to have happened. what does this mean? it potentially means that the plane, while it was flying over penang, was at quite a low altitude. we know from information we've received from sources here that another 80 miles further on, out over the sea, it is by then 4,000 to 5,000 feet above sea level. it has come down from cruising altitude. so, this is more information indicating that the plane was at a low altitude, potentially, as
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it crosses back over the malaysian peninsula. and although we don't have this information about what was behind, what was the reason for the cell phone, the co-pilot's cell phone to reach out to the tower, it is certainly an intriguing detail in of itself for investigators here. what we are learning from officials today about the black box, we heard from the transport minister today, saying when the government here gets that black box, when they've given it to capable authorities who can extract the data, he says the full information will be revealed. this is what he said. >> i don't think it's important who gets custody as far as i'm concerned, and this is my own personal mission. it is finding out the truth. and when you want to find out the truth, definitely we have to review what's in the black box, so there's no question. >> reporter: so, whether or not that black box can provide important information about the timing of when that cell phone
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call was made, what the plane was doing at that precise point, it is all information that is so pertinent to the investigation here right now. christine? >> it really is. and you have to wonder if other passengers on board may have had a cell phone that was on in their bag, in their pocket. i mean, certainly not everyone turns it completely off when a plane takes off. if there was some sort of trouble, could there have been more communication with other phones with that cell phone tower? i'm sure, i'm sure investigators are going to be looking at that. >> reporter: certainly, that's something for them to look at, and there were 239 people on board that aircraft. some people perhaps had more than one phone, phones registered in china, in malaysia, in other different countries as well. so, there's a lot of phone records to go through, and potentially, quite a number of cell phone towers that the aircraft may have passed over at a low altitude. so, a lot of very technical, very specific data-checking to be done by malaysian authorities here, and of course, a number of
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cell phone providers providing different services here. so, it just adds layer after layer of complexity to the investigation, but any handshaking between a phone and a cell tower as it passed over the malaysian peninsula is going to be hugely informative for investigators, christine. >> of course. all right, nic robertson in kuala lumpur. thank you, nic. ukraine this morning is teetering on the brink of civil war, many believe. the government now is asking for international peacekeepers to help it deal with pro-russian militants, and those militants have taken over government buildings and refused to step down. and despite promises that ukrainian security forces will move in and force them out, no major operation has begun yet. last night, president obama and president of russia, vladimir putin, they spoke, trading barbs over who is behind the escalating violence. phil black is live in kharkiv, ukraine, with the latest. phil, tell us more about that conversation and what you're seeing there on the ground.
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>> reporter: the conversation, victor, is one with two very stark, different positions, one where russia says that the actions, the uprisings that are happening here are organic, they are grassroots, they are a result of the poorly functioning new government in the central government in kiev. the united states' position is very much that this is all being orchestrated, encouraged by russia, by special forces here, perhaps, and certainly by the presence of a large russian military build-up just on the other side of the border. and so, it is within this environment that the ukrainian government is dealing with an ongoing trend. its authority here in the east is slowly ebbing away. it appears that there is very little it can do about it, and it is in this context that ukraine's government has suggested to the united nations the idea of an international peacekeeping force here under a united nations mandate. it is something of an extraordinary suggestion, one that perhaps does point to just how desperate the government
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here is. we can only imagine the appetite within western governments to see their soldiers here on the ground facing up against russian forces just across the border. but the other big hitch in this potential idea is that such an operation would need approval from the united nations security council. russia has a veto on the security council. it is impossible to imagine a scenario where it would allow western forces to be here on the ground so close to its own border, within this territory where it clearly believes it continues to have a sphere of influence. but for the ukrainian government, the question remains, what can it do, because every day this situation continues to escalate. its authority diminishes. and so far, tough talk hasn't worked. talk of amnesties and negotiations, that hasn't worked either. but what is clear from this suggestion regarding a u.n. peacekeeping force is the ukrainian government does believe it needs further support from the international community to prevent its country from fracturing further, victor. >> possibly on the brink of civil war, as we've said.
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phil black for us in kharkiv, thank you. happening now, dramatic testimony in the oscar pistorius murder trial. the olympic athlete facing questions about the night he says he accidentally shot and killed his model girlfriend. can the prosecutor tear apart his testimony? he's sure trying. we're live next.
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in south africa right now, oscar pistorius testifying for a seventh day at his murder trial. and once again, prosecutors
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trying to catch the sprinter in inconsistencies over what happened the night he shot and killed girlfriend reeva steenkamp. listen. >> i'm sorry, my lady, i'm getting confused. >> why would you be getting confused? >> my lady, what i heard, and if i can think of now, the door didn't open, so it couldn't have been the door opening. >> if that's your problem, mr. pistorius, and i've dealt with it, you are thinking of a version constant and you're not dealing with the question. you're constantly thinking of a versi version. >> that's not true, my lady. >> cnn legal analyst kelly phelps at the courthouse in pretoria. the prosecutor, kelly, said this would be the last day of his cross examination. he seems to be really -- i mean, oscar pistorius said he was confused. he's hammering him about what kinds of sounds, what kinds of movements he saw and heard behind that closed door, really trying to trip him up.
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>> reporter: absolutely, and this has been his strategy since he began cross examination, what feels now like such a long time ago. but it has to be said, yesterday he picked up a lot of momentum in pursuing that strategy with pistorius, and today has been somewhat more of a stop-start day. he started with lines of arguing around inconsistencies and then dropped them and moved on to another one. so, we haven't quite seen the same level of momentum achieved today that he had achieved yesterday. >> it's interesting, though, he keeps poking all of these inconsistencies, but isn't that sort of part of his defense, that oscar pistorius was confused, acted irrationally? there were these bits of information and stimuli in the room, he freaked out, basically, and started firing through the door? i mean, isn't that -- isn't that what he's saying happened? >> reporter: absolutely, and these -- the evidence of these inconsistencies really can be mobilized by both sides to try
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and support their argument. so, we've seen nel using it, relying on it to try and suggest that the only reasonable deduction that the judge can draw from that is that he must be lying, but we see the defense relying on some inconsistencies, saying, well, hang on a second. on a fundamental level, we've kept our story the same. the fact that small details shift and change in your mind over time is natural and a by-product of the fear and terror that a person would feel in that situation. and ultimately, the judge will need to decide which version she finds the most compelling. >> how is oscar pistorius holding up? a couple of times, i heard the judge say, you know, speak up, your voice is very soft to mr. pistorius, i can't hear you. >> reporter: yes, well, actually, inside the court, which most viewers wouldn't have a view to, the volume is much softer than the live feed that we hear over the television. so, there's only one microphone in front of mr. pistorius that broadcasts just to the judge's desk. so, there's not very good acoustics in the courtroom, and
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therefore, we've seen her ask many witnesses during the trial to speak up, because it can be very difficult to follow from inside the courtroom. >> is he as emotional now as he was in the first few days of testimony? >> reporter: i think he's been a lot more calm and composed today than he was yesterday. yesterday he certainly seemed to allow mr. nel to get under his skin and he was quite frustrated and emotional, crying on a number of occasions, and in fact, a few postponements had to be called. today we do hear his voice quivering somewhat, but on the whole, he's managed to maintain his composure and also, very importantly, stand his ground in terms of refusing to be led down a path by mr. nel, as he is essentially opening the door for pistorius to do that. far more success yesterday. >> and mr. nel saying you fired at reeva, you shot and killed at reeva. he says, no, i did not fire at reeva. i fired into the bathroom at what i thought were intruders.
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they are deadlocked at that different version of events. >> reporter: yes, and this has been the same gridlock, essentially, that we've seen right back from bail, because, of course, very unusually for an accused person, mr. pistorius actually gave an enormous amount of detail with regards to his version of events as early on as bail, and that has meant that he has had more pressure to remain consistent with that version, but equally from mr. nel's perspective, it probably accounts for some of the level of detail in his cross examination, because, of course, mr. nel has been able to prepare for that cross examination as far back as the bail hearing. >> fascinating. and the testimony continues as we speak. kelly phelps. thank you, kelly, in pretoria. breaking news overnight. severe storms tearing down homes in the south and the danger does not stop there. indra petersons is here to track the latest. that's coming up next.
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boston and the nation pause today to mark a solemn anniversary, one year since the bomb attack on the boston marathon, an attack that left 3 dead and more than 260 people injured. a memorial ceremony is set for this afternoon, bringing together the survivors, those who helped them and their families, and there will be a moment of silence to mark the exact time when the first bomb went off. and still, the city seems more focused on moving forward than looking back. look at this. boston strong banners hang everywhere, and the marathon will go on as scheduled next week. a lot of the runners taking to the course say that they are doing this to honor those who were impacted by the bombing. all right, it could be another dangerous weather day from the south to the northeast. severe storms marching their way east. take a look at these pictures. this is mississippi, not far from biloxi.
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officials say strong winds flipped some trailers at an rv park. dozens were damaged, and at least two people were hurt. >> indra petersons is tracking the storm. and big differences you can expect today, i guess. >> huge differences! i mean, that's how you know we are setting up for severe weather. you're talking about warm air and cold air being right next to each other. and take a look. right now you're talking about rain. these are current temperatures. but on the back side of the cold front, we're actually talking about even snow, yes, snow right not in towards cincinnati, where temperatures are at the freezing mark, if not below. so, what is going on? once again, all that moisture's out there. and look at the explosive nature here. down towards the southeast and kind of the eastern seaboard here, we are still talking about the threat for severe weather. this is the first thing, from norfolk back through florida, the chance for thunderstorms, long straight-line winds out there and even large hail is possible. but on the other side, as the system makes its way through, heavy rain will spread even into the northeast. but look what happens overnight, the temperatures drop, right? let's zoom in a little closer. what does that mean? yes, more snow filling in, even into the northeast as those temperatures go down tonight.
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we're talking way down. i mean, look at this. we're talking about 30s, even going way down into south. new york city 34, so a chance for even some flurries overnight tonight as we hit those morning lows. look where we're seeing heavier amounts, 2 to 3 inches possible upstate new york, even in through vermont, and of course, heavy rain will be the bigger story as we see that spreading out towards new york city. about 2 inches out towards new york. behind it, the big thing will be the temperatures that were oh so nice are going oh, so down, about 20 degrees down. >> i know. it was snowing at my parents' house in iowa yesterday. >> iowa. this is new york, come on! >> i know. i don't want it to come here. >> thanks, indra. >> sure. a spectacular sight in the skies. overnight the moon turned blood red. the lunar eclipse, the first of four we'll see over the next two yea years. live in los angeles where he got a good look at it. lots of other folks gathered to watch. right where you are, i saw someone tweeting earlier saying, look, we spend all of our time looking at our cell phones, at
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our ipads. this is a rare story when everyone comes together and looks up together at the sky, not at their devices. paul? >> reporter: it was indeed quite a sight to behold here. we can still show part of it to you. with the naked eye, you can see it's a partial eclipse right now. and i am now standing among the die-hards. they say 2,300 to 3,000 people gathered around the observatory tonight right in front of me, richard, among others, using their amateur telescope to catch a glimpse, sharing this experience with all their friends. and i have to tell you, the director here of the observatory, he was downright giddy earlier with excitement. let's take a listen. >> you know, every time you see the sky conspire into a special event like a total lunar eclipse, you not only get the pleasure of a huge crowd of people coming in for the surprise, but the surprise itself. and it really is a surprise. i mean, we know what causes these eclipses, we know roughly what they're going to look like,
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but every one is a little bit different. >> reporter: and looking back here live, you can see a partial eclipse, the lit part, kind of a clipped thumbnail there. but the people who came out today had an absolutely spectacular sight. we'll say the color was more of a copper red in person, not, you know, a bright vermilion or anything like that. also, this talk of omens and four total lunar eclipses coming in 2014-2015, they didn't want to talk about that here. they were all about the science and astronomy. back to you now, christine. >> but we're going to have other shots to see. i mean, i know a lot of people with young children, they want to hit all four of these into mid-2015. >> reporter: yes, absolutely. one of the things that surprised me was how many young children were here, and of course, nobody cut school or anything like that, but we have a lot of youngsters on spring break, and they were out here. as you know, it's almost 2:00 in the morning here. i don't know, how many of you
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think you'll catch all four total lunar eclipses? well, thank you. >> you're awesome, paul. >> reporter: we've got a lot of die-hards. thank you so much, victor and christine. i'll send it back to you. >> they're all sleep-deprived. >> reporter: of course, they do not have school tomorrow. they're all giddy is what they are. >> this is considered research, though. >> exactly. >> so, you could take a class, if you want. >> thanks, paul. >> we'll be right back. that's a man interviewino.for a job. not that one. that one. the one who seems like he's already got the job 'cause he studied all the right courses from the get-go. and that's an accountant, a mom, a university of phoenix scholarship recipient, who used our unique --scratch that-- awesome career-planning tool. and that's a student, working late, with a day job, taking courses aligned with the industry he's aiming to be in. ready to build an education around the career that you want? let's get to work.
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breaking news overnight. the underwater search for missing malaysia airlines flight 370 intensifying. investigators revealing just hours ago what the bluefin submarine saw in its first day combing the sea bed for clues. now, this comes as we learn new details about what was happening in the plane's cockpit just before it disappeared. was the co-pilot trying to send someone a warning? we're live with the latest this morning. a tense standoff in ukraine. pro-russian protesters refusing to disarm, refusing to step aside, ignoring ukraine's threat to send in troops, as the u.s.
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and russia blame each other for this escalating crisis. is civil war imminent? we're live with what's happening right now. good morning. welcome "early start." i'm christine romans. >> i'm victor blackwell, tuesday, april 15th, 5:00 a.m. in the east. and we begin with latest on malaysia airlines 370. and breaking news overnight, that an unmanned underwater vehicle, the bluefin-21, found nothing of interest during its first search of the ocean floor, the indian ocean there. and that journey ended abruptly after just six hours when the unmanned sub had to surface after going too deep. and this morning, crews are preparing again to put the vehicle back in the water for another 16-hour trip scanning for wreckage from the jet missing for 39 days now. erin mclaughlin is live in perth with the latest on the search. erin, also, there was some news, aside from the bluefin, that aerial search and what that means moving forward. erin? >> reporter: hi, victor. well,

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